• Kevin Durant, JJ Watt sign with American Family Insurance

    By Cliff Brunt, The Associated Press | Published: Tue, Jan 27, 2015

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Thunder forward Kevin Durant and Houston Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt have signed endorsement deals with American Family Insurance, the company said Tuesday. Durant, the NBA's most valuable player last season, is the first NBA player American Family has signed. American Family is one of the nation's largest insurers. The most recent deals Durant had signed through Roc Nation Sports before this one were with Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt, Sonic, Neff Headwear and the Oklahoma Department of Health.

  • College Football Playoff semifinals not moving says Bill Hancock

    Published: Tue, Jan 27, 2015

    College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock  told Alabama Media Group on Tuesday that the CFP semifinals will be played on Dec. 31 as scheduled, despite ESPN wanting to move the games to Jan. 2. According to AMG's John Talty, ESPN wanted to move the Orange Bowl and Cotton Bowl semifinal games to Saturday, Jan. 2, 2016, as a one-time deal to maximize ratings and allow 'for a more accessible, fan-and-participant-friendly experience for all' ( per ESPN spokesperson ). But Hancock explained why the games are staying put. "The folks at ESPN understandably said 'Will you consider moving to Jan. 2 for this year?' and then reverting back to the schedule we set up two-and-a-half years ago," Hancock said. "This year's ratings were not a part of it, but the fact they saw an opportunity on Saturday was understandable. "We established a new tradition and we had one year of it; why change for one year?"

  • Tiger Woods explains tooth incident

    Published: Tue, Jan 27, 2015

    Tiger Woods laughed often and smiled easily during a nine-hole practice round early Tuesday morning. And then he explained how he made worldwide headlines a week ago for a missing tooth. Woods spoke to reporters at the Waste Management Phoenix Open on Tuesday, the site of his first PGA Tour event this year. "That didn't feel very good," said Woods, who had traveled unannounced to watch girlfriend Lindsey Vonn set a record for ski race victories on Jan. 19 in Italy, the day he lost the tooth. "I was looking down, and all the camera guys are below me on their knees or moving all around, trying to get a picture because she's hugging people, saying congratulations to the other racers as they are coming down. Some already finished, some are there already in the changing area. "Dude with a video camera on his shoulder, right in front of me, kneeling, stood up and turned and caught me square on the mouth. He chipped that one, cracked the other one. "And so then, you know, I'm trying to keep this thing so the blood is not all over the place, and luckily he hit the one I had the root canal on. That's the one that chipped. But the other one had to be fixed, as well, because it had cracks all through it."

  • Marshawn Lynch's answer to every question at Super Bowl media day: 'I'm here so I won't get fined'

    Erik Horne | Published: Tue, Jan 27, 2015

    Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch is known for his brevity with the media. It's no surprise that Lynch went back to his traditional one-phrase tactic when his turn behind the microphone came at Super Bowl media day Tuesday. Lynch answered every question with "I'm here so I won't get fined." Occassionally, he went a little further with "I'm just here so I won't get fined, Boss," but it was pretty standard fare. Less than three minutes, and Lynch was gone. Hey, he warned us.

  • GoDaddy on hot seat over lost-puppy ad

    Published: Tue, Jan 27, 2015

    The Super Bowl is starting to look a whole lot like the Puppy Bowl. The Internet domain registrar GoDaddy just released its big Game Day ad, “Journey Home,” which chronicles the adventures of a lost dog named Buddy as he navigates his way through the wilderness back to his owners, Yahoo TV reports. Without spoiling anything, let’s just say that his homecoming isn’t quite as sweet as you might expect. Don’t forget, "Journey Home" is from the same company that poked fun at nerds andbodybuilders in past Super Bowl ads, so dog lovers are naturally fair game as well. 

  • Want ESPN without the cable bill?

    Published: Tue, Jan 27, 2015

    Finally, you’re going to be able to watch ESPN online without paying your cable company for a hundred bizzaro channels you don’t care about. Starting tomorrow, Dish Network will start taking customers for a $20/month, online-only service called Sling TV, Yahoo Tech reports. (If you have a cable subscription that includes ESPN, or if you know somebody who does, you can still view it on the WatchESPN site or app instead.)

  • Super Bowl player was a valet just 3 weeks ago

    Published: Tue, Jan 27, 2015

    Over the years someone would see Landon Cohen in the newspaper, or maybe even on television, and think, "That guy … wait … is that the valet?" Yes, sometimes Landon Cohen parks cars. And sometimes he plays in the NFL. Cohen, amazingly, did both this month. And now he's one win from parallel parking a Super Bowl ring between his knuckles, Yahoo Sports reports.

  • OU softball: Sooners No. 3 in ESPN.com/USA Softball preseason poll

    Published: Tue, Jan 27, 2015

    OU softball will start the 2015 softball season ranked No. 3 nationally in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 preseason poll. Only top-ranked Florida and Oregon sit above the Sooners in the preseason rankings, released Tuesday. Alabama and Florida State round out the Top 5. Florida, the defending national champion, received 15 of 20 first-place votes, with Oregon (4) and No. 6 UCLA (1) picking up the others. The University of Tulsa, coming off a Top 20 national finish in 2014, will begin the 2015 season ranked 22nd. The ESPN/USA Softball poll is voted on by coaches representing nine Division I conferences in the 15 ASA/USA Softball regions, as well as nationl/local media members.

  • VIDEO: Tony Romo, Rex Ryan star in Pizza Hut commercial

    Published: Mon, Jan 26, 2015

    In a commercial promoting its new Triple Cheese Covered Stuffed Crust pizza, Pizza Hut has called on Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. Ryan goes on a flag-throwing rampage during the "Crust Flavor Challenge," calling out people for ordering pizza with sub-par crust. And at the end, Romo gets a flag thrown on himself.

  • Kobe Bryant to have season-ending surgery

    Published: Mon, Jan 26, 2015

    Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant will have season-ending surgery on his right shoulder, as announced by the Lakers on Monday. Per Lakers.com, Dr. Neal ElAttrache confirmed and earlier diagnosis of a torn rotator cuff for Bryant, and recommended surgery for the 19-year veteran. Surgery has been scheduled for Wednesday morning, with a recovery timetable to be announced following the procedure. The Lakers are 12-33, fifth in the Pacific Division and second-worst in the Western Conference. Bryant will miss the remaining 37 games of the season, including the Lakers' games against the Oklahoma City Thunder on March 1 and 24.

  • OKC Thunder: NBA TV replaces Blazers-Nets with Wolves-Thunder

    Published: Mon, Jan 26, 2015

    NBA TV will feature the Oklahoma City Thunder against the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight at 7 p.m., replacing the originally scheduled Portland Trail Blazers vs. Brooklyn Nets game. Along with Monday's New York Knicks vs. Sacramento Kings game, Portland vs. Brooklyn has been rescheduled due to  an impending snowstorm set to hit New York City and surrounding areas.

  • OKC Thunder: Knicks, Nets postpone games due to impending snowstorm

    Published: Mon, Jan 26, 2015

    With one of the largest snow storms in recent history bearing down on the New York City area, the NBA has postponed the New York Knicks' and Brooklyn Nets' home games scheduled for Monday night, respectively. What's that mean for the Oklahoma City Thunder? The Thunder is scheduled to play the Knicks in New York on Wednesday, but forecast projections for New York City and surrounding areas are calling for up to 20 to 30 inches of snow over the next two days. The Thunder would have to fly in Tuesday for the game. No decision has been made about Thunder-Knicks so far, but New York City schools are closed on Tuesday. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency on Monday. Oklahoma City plays Minnesota at home Monday night at 7 p.m.

  • Kobe Bryant wanted to sign with Michael Jordan's Washington Wizards

    Published: Mon, Jan 26, 2015

    Kobe Bryant may not be stepping foot on a basketball court again this season for the Los Angeles Lakers, but his injury isn't keeping him out of the news. Michael Lee of The Washington Post writes about how Bryant, who has won five championships and cemented a Hall of Fame career with the Lakers, had serious thoughts about signing for Michael Jordan and the Washington Wizards more than a decade ago. At the height of the Shaquille O'Neal-Bryant feud, Bryant reportedly "informed him [Jordan] several times he wanted to play for the Wizards -- under the assumption that Jordan would return to the front office once his playing days were over." That never materialized. Jordan was removed as Wizards president of basketball operations in 2003, one year before Bryant was set to become a free agent in 2004. Imagine: Kobe Bryant in a Wizards jersey. It would have potentially been a landscape changing move for the entire league.

  • Colts mascot gets vengeance by beating Patriots mascot with inflatable chair

    Published: Mon, Jan 26, 2015

    The Colts mascot might have some hard feelings toward the Patriots following the AFC championship game, USA TODAY reports. During Sunday’s Pro Bowl, some NFL mascots went on the field for a game of musical (inflatable) chairs. But things turned violent when the Colts mascot Blue started beating up Pat Patriot. It was ugly.

  • Report: ESPN, NFL lobby for College Fooball Playoff schedule change

    Published: Mon, Jan 26, 2015

    The College Football Playoff is under pressure on two fronts to adjust future schedules for its semifinals and championship games, according to Sportsbusinessdaily.com sources, but the CFP is standing firm on its original dates. On one of those fronts, top ESPN executives are lobbying CFP officials to move next season’s semifinals off of New Year's Eve where it would compete with various network countdown shows. Next season's semifinals -- the Orange Bowl (Miami Gardens, Fla.) and Cotton Bowl (Dallas) -- are scheduled for New Year's Eve, but reports have ESPN pushing to get those games moved to Jan. 2, 2016. -- a Saturday "relatively free of big events, limiting the amount of competition the college game would face." The potential expansion of the NFL playoffs could cause another conflict, however, with the possibility of an NFL playoff game and the College Football Playoff championship going against each other on a Monday night.

  • Some Ernie quotes you can bank on

    Published: Sat, Jan 24, 2015

    Ernie Banks ' signature quote (though there are variations):

  • All The Proof You Need That America Is Ready For Gay Pro Athletes

    Published: Fri, Jan 23, 2015

    Every time you witness homophobic bigotry on the Internet, remember this: By and large, America is ready and willing to support gay professional athletes, The Huffington Post reports. Seventy-three percent of Americans say they would fully support a professional sports team that signed a gay or lesbian athlete, according to a new survey by the Public Religion Research Institute, a nonprofit research organization. Only 19 percent of those surveyed said they would oppose such a decision. "If team owners in the league have any doubt about if Americans are ready for a gay or lesbian player on their team, this survey should put any of those doubts to rest," Robert P. Jones, the CEO of PRRI, told The Huffington Post over the phone. "There are very few issues where you can find three-quarters of Americans in agreement."

  • Sports Illustrated Lays Off Entire Photo Staff

    Published: Fri, Jan 23, 2015

    Sports Illustrated has laid off the last of its photography staff, the National Press Photographers Association reported Friday. According to NPPA, the magazine fired its six remaining photographers, John W. McDonough, David E. Klutho, Simon Bruty, Bill Frakes, Al Tielemans and Robert Beck, on Thursday afternoon. SI's director of photography Brad Smith confirmed the news in a statement to News Photographer magazine, adding that the decision was the result of a company-wide need to "restructure various departments," The Huffington Post reports.

  • Report: Kobe Bryant expected to miss rest of season with torn rotator cuff

    Published: Fri, Jan 23, 2015

    Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant is expected to miss the remainder of the season with a torn rotator cuff, sources told ESPN's Ramona Shelburne on Friday. The Lakers will visit Oklahoma City on March 24, presumably without their star attraction. Bryant signed a two-year, $48.5 million deal with the Lakers in 2013. He's set to make $25 million in 2015 before becoming a free agent in 2016.

  • Former OU assistant Josh Heupel officially hired at Utah State

    Published: Fri, Jan 23, 2015

    Former Oklahoma co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel has officially been named Utah State's new assistant head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, as announced Friday by Utah State. Heupel spent the last nine years working on the OU football staff before  being dismissed earlier this month along with wide receivers coach Jay Norvell . Heupel is joining the staff of head coach Matt Wells, a Sallisaw native. "We are very excited to add Josh Heupel to our coaching staff,"  Wells said in a statement. "Josh brings a tremendous pedigree and accomplishments to Utah State and the offensive side of the ball. Our philosophies are very similar in how to move the football and I'm looking forward to a seamless transition this season with our offense. I'm excited to welcome Josh, his wife Dawn, and their two children to the Aggie football family."